Fresh Farm Produce

Healthy Eating Berries

These days we are encouraged from every angle to turn to fruit and vegetables, natural diets, organic foods; we have certainly learnt the importance of keeping an eye on our five-a-day. More recent discoveries have shown the healing and protecting powers of the so-called super-berries. Impressive amounts of vitamins and antioxidants make these perfectly natural and tasty snacks an excellent complement to any diet, and present an easy route on the long and winding road to a sound lifestyle. The health benefits of berries are many, but most super-berries are known for their high antioxidant content.So, what are antioxidants? Why do people rave about them so much, and what good can they do for you? Basically, antioxidants protect your body from and prevent the formation of something called free radicals, i.e. atoms that have lost an electron during oxidation. Oxidation is when oxygen molecules interact with all the different substances it comes in contact with, from metals to living tissue – the process that turns apples brown and pennies green. When this happens in your body, free radicals are formed that can have a potentially damaging effect on your cells. Vitamin C and E are two of the more common antioxidants that work to neutralise the free radicals that are causing havoc in your compounds. Another is anthocyanin, an extremely powerful antioxidant which is found in berries and grapes and is the substance that gives them their deep red colour. The açai berry, aronia berry and blueberry are all full of them, as well as many different essential vitamins and fatty acids.